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Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s nightmare year, 1951, told in news clippings

[L. Ron Hubbard and Sara Northrup in 1951]

TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Sci Fi author L. Ron Hubbard landed a big success when he published ‘Dianetics’ and started a movement about the mind. But only a year later his venture was failing and his personal life was a nightmare. This is the story Scientology never talks about, told in news clippings. [What is this Substack thing, anyway?]


Technology Cocktail

“Psychiatry and psychology failed as single practitioners not only because they had no real tech but because they tried to work alone. This turned them toward governments which then used them only to control populations and there went whatever tech they might have developed. The single practitioner theory in Dianetics failed badly as an early Dianetics practice. Auditors that made it only attached themselves to the rich. Others became drifters. The answer, we have found out long since, is the group.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1969




We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane [39] Fredrick Brennan [40] Clarissa Adams [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney [43] Tory Christman [44] Kate Bornstein [45] Christian Stolte [46] Mark Bunker [47] Jon Atack [48] Luke Y. Thompson [49] Mark Ebner [50] Bruce Hines [51] Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley [51] Geoff and Robbie Levin [52] Sands Hall [53] Jonny Jacobsen [54] Sandy Holeman [55] Mark Bunker [56] Trish and Liz Conley [57] Trish Conley [58] Alex Barnes-Ross [59] Alex Barnes-Ross [60] Alex Barnes-Ross [61] Alex Barnes-Ross [62] Alex Barnes-Ross [63] Alex Barnes-Ross [64] Tory Christman [65] Tammy Synovec [66] Dennis Erlich [67] Alex Barnes-Ross [68] Valerie Ross [69] Kat in Austin [70] Mark Bunker [71] Phil Jones



Source Code

“In the Western world there’s not even a Tradition of philosophy. There’s no Tradition of — what equivalent Western word is there for a guru? There isn’t, and yet an Indian wouldn’t know how to go through his day without knowing this word, guru, somehow or another. You get the idea, see? We did a survey in Washington, DC about 1955 which was a very intriguing survey. Because I wanted to know, I thought these birds would realize that the psychiatrists were — let’s put it in a more elegant sense than it deserves — that the psychiatrists were cutting into their racket. So we got ahold of all the ministers in Washington, DC on the idea that they might have some sensibility with regard to all this and asked them if they thought this was the case. No, No. Any time one of their congregation showed the least signs of becoming nervous, they instantly rushed him to the electric shock machine. Seventeen hundred and eight ministers out of seventeen hundred and ten were wildly in favor of the mental hospital and the electric shock machine as soon as possible. Why, the poor dopes! They didn’t realize that that religious ecstasy was the only thing which kept them whizzing. If anybody had suddenly stood up in their congregation and said, ‘I embrace the Lord,’ or something like that, they would have said, ‘Dr. Sparks, would you please send a wagon over right away, quick.’ See? In other words, the whole field of religion had been eaten up in this particular direction which I thought was rather amazing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 14, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Several people are nominated to the Never-be-a-smuggler Club. Turning on bright lights, flashing flashlights toward the beach, opening up unnecessarily on the radio all disqualify one from being an Expert Smuggler. Such club members wind up in calabogos (jail) on suspicion. Pausing off the port as we did is not very good practise. Thanks to the guys who opened the cattledoor. They should however use lifelines when working so. And please can’t we oil all these reluctant hinges some calm day? Anyway our telex traffic was all good news. You can get off mail you see.” — The Commodore, April 14, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Covid came into being about the time Ron was getting into the OT 9 material and the static anti-static case — i.e. existence non-existence sequence. We are witnessing a planetary response and manifestations of confusions blowing off; massive games conditions being as-ised and converted to no-games condition on a planet-wide scale; just from a small handful of us auditing on it. The solution is for us to continue to audit OT 9; which means a major shift and bettered conditions after this all settles.”


Past is Prologue


2002: The Associated Press reported that Heber Jentzsch, the president of the Church of Scientology International, has been acquitted of conspiracy and fraud charges. “A Spanish court on Thursday acquitted the American leader of the Church of Scientology of conspiracy and other charges, ending a case that dated back to 1988. In December the Madrid Provincial Court had acquitted 15 members and employees of the Spanish branch of Scientology who had been charged along with church leader Rev. Heber Jentzsch. When Jentzsch did not appear for trial as it began in February, the court decided to try him separately. The court said in December there was no evidence to support prosecutors’ allegations that drug rehabilitation and other programs sponsored by the Church of Scientology in Spain amounted to illicit gatherings aimed at activities such as bilking people of money. In 1988 Jentzsch was arrested when he arrived in Madrid for a Scientology conference. He was held for 4 months before being released, but indicted in 1994.”


Random Howdy

“Brand new account created just for this idiotic hit and run. These people couldn’t troll if their lives depended on it.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Found guilty on two counts on May 31, remanded to custody. Sentenced to 30 years to life on Sep 7.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Next pretrial hearing May 17, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Some defamation claims were removed by Judge Hammock. Leah seeking to amend her complaint.
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs allowed interlocutory appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: motion to file new complaint, hearing on May 29.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration, hearing on April 16.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Ordered to mediation.



After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] The Bad Cadet: New book looks at Scientology in a coming-of-age story
[TWO years ago] Scientology propaganda masterpiece: Grant Cardone’s COO coughs up $1.1 million
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s founder said Mars was inhabited, & now a Scientologist helps run Perseverance!
[FOUR years ago] Scientology logic: Blame the media for fake virus news while promising superhuman powers
[FIVE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard defines religion for you skeptical non-Xenu believers
[SIX years ago] Another Scientologist runs for office in Nevada — but her campaign says she’s not a member
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology invited local business owners to its Clearwater celeb party. Well, except one.
[NINE years ago] Announcing a new video series — The stories of young Scientologists not told in ‘Going Clear’
[TEN years ago] Scientology litigation always has surprises: A new wrinkle from Narconon’s attorneys
[ELEVEN years ago] Writers of the Future Live-Blogging! Black Tie Not Required


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Tammy Synovec has not seen her daughter Julia in 2,870 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,365 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,880 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,430 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,420 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,301 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,605 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,476 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,028 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,369 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,936 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,855 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,023 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,604 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,865 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,901 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,617 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,181 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,496 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,671 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,222 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,353 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,691 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,544 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,665 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,021 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,324 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,430 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,828 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,704 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,269 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,782 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,036 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,145 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 14, 2024 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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